John Stossel

It's time for a change. Next month, I leave ABC News to start a weekly one-hour prime time show with Fox News.

When I announced that on my blog, plenty of viewers said they were happy to have me leave.

"Goodbye. You suck. You have found a much better home for your garbage reporting and backwards politics."

"Congratulations on the move to the network intellectually suited to your quasi-libertarian corporate-apologist hackery!"

Oh well, you can't please everyone. I don't expect that my libertarian beliefs will please everyone at Fox, either.

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Years ago, ABC hired me to do consumer reporting. When I wised up, deciding consumer "advocates" usually did more harm than good, that horrified some of my colleagues.

When I did my first TV special, I pointed out that regulation itself, by stifling innovation, can make life less safe. Two producers angrily objected, saying, "No respectable journalist would say that." The senior producer on the program smugly told me, "You just can't say that on network TV."

ABC's (now NBC's) research director, said: "Why do a show on risk assessment? You should do something on diet or breast implants -- something we know people will watch."

But give ABC credit. After bitter arguments, it ran the show, titled, "Are We Scaring You to Death?" A news division's vice president said, "I don't agree with you, but it's a valid intellectual argument that deserves to be made."

We were all surprised when 17 million Americans watched. We got 3,000 letters, many from scientists who wrote: "Thank God, somebody's finally saying these things. I can't believe I saw that on network television."

So I kept doing those kinds of reports.

My bosses often disagreed with my point of view, but they usually let me air it.

But it was frustrating. My vision and that of my producers were often not in harmony. Too many stories I thought were important -- such as the land theft called eminent domain, or the FDA's endangering people's lives by withholding life-saving drugs -- were not aired.

When I pushed, ABC producers often stared at me as if they were thinking, "Why would you want to do that?"

So after 28 years, it's time to move on.


John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. ©Creators Syndicate